Saturday, October 10, 2015

The List Goes On...

The results for Sissy's speech evaluation have come in. It's worse than I expected, but explains a lot. Remember, this isn't a test of how well she speaks English, but her over all language level. I was already told by two Chinese language professionals that her Mandarin was at the level of a 6-8 yr. old. Her English is at the same level because of how her brain is processing language, not because it's a new language. She'll be 17 years old in one month.

Things to remember when looking at these results:

1. Her vocabulary in English far exceeds her vocabulary in Mandarin and Cantonese.

2. Her grammar in either Chinese dialect is well below normal, as is her ability to read and comprehend in her native language.

3. She's had 3 years of intense attention and multiple approaches to learning English.

4. Despite Blossom's intellectual deficiency, Blossom's English has always surpassed Sissy's and Jie Jie's.

The reason I am sharing these results is two-fold. First, it's an excellent example of how long it can take to diagnose a language disorder in an older adopted child and of how the child's profile information can be so wrong prior to adoption. Second, I'd love to hear from parents who have had a child at this age in this situation. Did your child catch up? Did your child have an intellectual disability, too? How did you deal with this?

Why do I ask how you deal with this? Because my child rarely understands what I'm saying to her, but fakes it so it's nearly impossible to know for sure what she understands or not. She THINKS she's understanding, but she's subconsciously taught herself to memorize what those around her say and then parrots that. Once you give her a question requiring her own opinion, she's completely speechless and lost. For example, "What do you plan to do when you grow up?" She'll say, "I can't work, I don't have any skills," which is something we've talked a lot about. Then I'll say, "Then what are you going to do?" She'll say, "Obey mommy." I'll ask her why and she'll start repeating things I've told her, "Because you love me and I need to learn and choose the right." Then I'll say, "Well, you've been making some very bad choices lately. What is your plan for making good choices?" Then she stops and can't figure out what to say next. I've learned to stop feeding her information she can parrot so I can see where her thinking and speaking ability ends.

Language:
Tests Administered: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals 4.

Recalling Sentences: Raw Score: 26; Scaled Score: 1; Test-age Equivalent:
4 yrs 9 months.

Formulated Sentences: Raw Score: 22; Scaled Score: 1; Test-age Equivalent:
<7 yrs.

Word Class-Total: Raw Score: 14; Scaled Score: 7; Test-age Equivalent: 8
yrs 9 months.

Word Definitions: Raw Score: 1; Scaled Score: 1; Test-age Equivalent: <9 yrs.

Sum of Subtest Scaled Scores: 10
Standard Score: 52
Percentile Rank: 0.1
Comments: Developmental Language Delay.

7 comments:

Cristy Claxton said...

You may want to look at the Fast Forward program. Our Sppech Therapist recommended it for our daughter with APD.

Karen said...

We're only beginning to go down the path of evaluations and recommendations for our almost 15 year old daughter. She was seen at an International Adoption Clinic a few weeks ago and the unofficial diagnosis was that academically she's below a preschool level...cognitively she's about at a 4-5 year old level...motor skills, both gross and fine are severely delayed...and sensory problems. The neuropsychologist said we should think of her as a child with Down Syndrome and seek assistance through the public schools. Her English and Chinese are well below normal for her age and they feel she's not really functioning proficiently in either one. I'm like you, I don't really know how much she understands and how much she's memorized in the daily routine. They do believe she has brain damage, from an accident, severe malnutrition, or abuse. Whether or not she had learning disabilities before brain damage, we'll never know I guess. Once in awhile she will unexpectedly speak in clear, 5-8 word sentence that actually makes sense. But most of the time I can't understand her at all and she's been her for 22 months.

K said...

I'd love to be using Fast Forward, I have two girls now that really need it, but our insurance won't approve it.

Anonymous said...

Can you have a doctor prescribe it so the insurance will cover it?

Anonymous said...

Hello, We took our daughter (adopted at 10, now 14) to an educational psychologist in order to get an educational assessment for her. She was struggling horribly in her school (large, public; lots of resources, but, in my opinion, lacking common sense). We wanted to move her, but all of the private schools required an admission test . . . which she would fail. She simply could not complete a standardize test in English. While her English is very good, she is not proficient and she is not proficient in American culture. The private school agreed to accept an assessment in place of the admission test. What I got from the psychologist was exactly what I feared. An assessment based on 6 hours of standardize tests! She scored extremely low functioning in all of them. She was even labeled with "poor memorization" skills . . . didn't buy that at all since reading and writing Chinese characters are based solely on memorization. Long story, short . . . the private school agreed to admit her. It's a challenging school . . . probably too challenging for her, but the small class sizes and flexible, understanding teachers are amazing. At the quarter interim, she had all Bs and one A! She even received a 100% on labelling a map of the 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces . . . completely memorized in 2 days time (so much for "poor memorization" skills). I guess I just want to say that I would be highly skeptical of any test results of children who are not fluent (in language and culture). Kim, I know you have a great "gut feeling" about your daughters' abilities . . . and I would rely more upon that than any testing.

You are doing an amazing job! Hang in there!

Doreen

Anonymous said...

My daughter was 6 at adoption and is turning 16 now as a H.S. Freshman. I'm helping her with her homework tonight, spelling all the difficult words. Her reading comprehension is poor since there are at least 2 words in every sentence she does not know. After 10 years and at least 7 years of extra pullout help, her spoken English is not 100%. Her ability to comprehend academic English is poor. She improves every year, yet after 10 years still remains a few grade levels behind. This is such a long process and the more years in a language deprived environment, the more difficult it is.

Anonymous said...

You might be able to find fast forward on eBay.

Kristina